A TV movie remake of The Diary of Anne Frank can be a very good thing. What sent shivers of fear up my spine about the latest version is the organization making the remake: the BBC. That can’t be a good thing can it?
Most of the article about the upcoming show makes it sound as if people with normal minds have been in charge of the production. Instead of presenting Anne as a saint, which she was not, the show is going to present a high-spirited, “stroppy” teenager — which is very much the personality that comes through the pages, especially if you read the unexpurgated version of Anne’s diary. Anne was a real girl, and her sufferings, both in the sensory deprivation of the attic and in the horrors of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, happened to a real human being, not a plaster teen saint.
Given the generally positive tone about the production, why am I still worried? I’m worried because a novelist named Deborah Moggach wrote the current adaption, and her comments show a morally equivalent world view that is frightening in its ignorance and implications:
Moggach believes the time is ripe for a new TV adaptation of the diary. “It’s now more timely than ever, not just because of rising anti-Semitism in eastern Europe, but because of growing prejudice throughout the world. [As it happens, there's surprisingly little antisemitism in Eastern Europe given its past. The real rise of antisemitism is in England, Europe and the Middle East, but perhaps Moggach's fails to mention the latter is explained by her next comment.] Anne could be a young girl in Gaza or Iraq today. [Did you get that? Gazan girls are raised to believe that Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth. They live in a culture that encourages the rape and murder of Jewish women. Gazans elected a government that has devoted itself to killing Jews. After the Gazan government spent a year sponsoring thousands of missile attacks on Jews, Israel finally responded with carefully targeted attacks aimed at munitions locations and at spots in which militants can be found. To the extent a Gazan girl was threatened, it was because her own government saw fit to place its munitions and fighters in her residential neighborhood precisely in order to ensure that the Gazan girl would be injured or killed for propaganda value. For Moggach to compare a Gazan girl to Anne Frank and her situation is an insult and idiocy beyond belief.] Of course, she’d be writing it as a blog now.”
After reading that stupidity, it is somehow unsurprising to learn that Moggach at one time lived in Pakistan. I suspect that, between England and Pakistan, her values system has been so perverted that she can no longer distinguish between good and evil. Moggach seems to live in a morally equivalent world that sees only bombs and victims. She lacks the ability to understand that sometimes good guys fire bombs and that sometimes bad guys are victims — and vice versa — and that you cannot equate people merely because each has had blood spilled.
Reading Moggach’s self-written bio, she sounds like a charming woman, and one who tries to be open-minded. I just suspect that she’s so open-minded her brains might have fallen out.